State has spent $160K per homeless person already, but problem persists
by Joe Gervais
We need to get to the root causes for homelessness – mental health and addiction – and solve those first, rather than the failed “housing first” or housing-only approaches tried by the Democrat administrations.
Currently Vermont has exhausted COVID money allocated for homeless housing just as we approach winter. Yet because of the housing-only approach to the problem without accountability from the homeless, many, if not most, are still dependent on the enabling the government has been perpetuating. As the former spouse of someone who succumbed to addiction, I was taught never to remove their dignity by doing for them something they could do for themselves.
“Because of the housing-only approach to the problem without accountability from the homeless, many, if not most, are still dependent on the enabling the government has been perpetuating.”Because of the housing-only approach to the problem without accountability from the homeless, many, if not most, are still dependent on the enabling the government has been perpetuating.”
– Joe Gervais
My dad lives in California. Driving freeways in the central valley this past spring, I saw the shoulders lined with homeless encampments. Is this what we want in Vermont? My opponents in this race are lauding the $300 million of our hard-earned tax money they are spending on housing. In the past six years, the housing-first policy has spent an average of $160,000 per homeless Vermont resident, yet we still have the crisis today.
Addressing symptoms without addressing the root cause does not solve the problem. The California Policy Lab Study cited in the Epoch Times article noted that out of 65,000 participants, 51% self-identified as addiction contributing to their homelessness and 50% self-identified mental health issues leading to their loss of housing. Bruce Chapman, founder and head of the Discovery Institute, compared the situation to the dismal social conditions depicted in popular 19th century novels.
“It’s Dickensian; it goes back to the kind of things you saw in the 18th and 19th centuries.”
As Legislators, we are entrusted by the public to be good stewards of the public funds. Misguided spending is contributing to the inflation every American is experiencing. Vermonters are not happy about the $600-a-month tax that inflation has added to our budgets. I vow to drive and support practical legislation that truly solves problems rather than just looking pretty in a newsletter.
Joe Gervais of Arlington is the Republican candidate for the Vermont House of Representatives in the Bennington-4 district.
Categories: State Government